The Taser X2 has been is authorized for use by police forces in England and Wales as of March 2017. (Taser photo)

Britain Requiring Police to Publish Data on Use of Tasers

The Home Secretary announced March 2 that departments will have to begin publishing data on all of their use of force starting next month.

Amber Rudd, Britain's Home Secretary, announced March 2 that UK police forces will be required to collect and publish detailed data on all of their use of force, including their use of Tasers, beginning in April 2017. Her announcement came as the Taser X2 was authorized for use by police forces in England and Wales.

This decision adopts the recommendations of the David Shaw review into police use of force; Rudd said officers will have to record the location and outcome of all connected energy device usage, along with the ethnicity and age of those involved, with the first set of data being published locally by forces this summer. She said the new rules allow increased safeguards and transparency required for the introduction of the new Taser X2; all police use of force, including physical restraint, will be captured in the new statistical publications to be collected from April 1 and published by forces from July onward.

"We ask the police to put themselves in harm's way to defend us, and the use of force is a vital part of their powers," Rudd said. "But when the police take the difficult decision to deploy force, it is also vital that the people they serve can scrutinize it. These new rules will introduce unprecedented transparency to this important subject and reinforce the proud British model of policing by consent."

The government said in 2014, then-Home Secretary Theresa May asked Chief Constable David Shaw, former National Police Lead for Conflict Management, to lead a review into what data should be recorded and published. Work has been done by police forces to implement the new data collection system recommended by the review by April 1, 2017. Departments will publish the information locally on a quarterly basis and provide an annual summary of the key information collected to the Home Office as part of the Annual Data Requirement for 2017/18.

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